About this course

A two-day online training course for senior mental health leads, helping you develop a sustainable whole-school approach to mental health.

The CPD-accredited course combines the expertise of the Centre’s clinicians and tutors with a knowledgeable community of practice. The course is intermediate level and suitable for those in leadership positions who are able to implement strategic, whole-school change. 

The training takes place over two days, but we also offer a number of optional sessions during and after the course to support our attendees to implement sustainable, long term change.

Delegates can join our online network to collaborate with peers and sign up to a monthly senior mental health lead mailing for ongoing advice, tips and quality-assured resources.

How to access funding

You may be able to book a DfE-funded place on this Senior Mental Health Lead training by applying for a grant of £1200. Our training course costs £800 per delegate, leaving £400 of funding available for other resources or supply cover.

If you’d like to secure your place on our course using grant funding, please follow these steps:

  1. Check the eligibility of your school or FE college on the Department for Education’s terms and conditions
  2. Complete the DfE grant funding form 
  3. Receive confirmation email from DfE
  4. Book and pay for your place on our DfE-assured SMHL training
  5. Upload evidence of your booking to DfE
  6. Receive funding from DfE
Book your place

Please use the table below to secure your place on your preferred dates. By clicking on the links below, you will be taken to a booking page for that cohort.

Please ensure you can attend all three dates in the cohort before booking a place. Due to varying half term dates across England, some of the dates may not be appropriate to your term time.  

Cohort name and dates

Booking link


  • Thursday 12th Jan
  • Thursday 19th Jan
  • Thursday 2nd March
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  • Monday 16th Jan
  • Monday 23rd Jan
  • Monday 6th March
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  • Wednesday 18th Jan
  • Wednesday 25th Jan
  • Wednesday 8th March
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  • Thursday 26th Jan
  • Thursday 2nd Feb
  • Thursday 16th March
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  • Thursday 2nd Feb
  • Thursday 9th Feb
  • Thursday 23rd March
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  • Monday 6th Feb
  • Monday 20th Feb
  • Monday 27th March
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  • Thursday 9th Feb
  • Thursday 23rd Feb
  • Thursday 30th March
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  • Tuesday 21st Feb
  • Tuesday 28th Feb
  • Tuesday 28th March
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  • Wednesday 22nd Feb
  • Wednesday 1st March
  • Wednesday 29th March
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Course structure

The course is broken down into eight modules delivered online in live sessions:

Day 1 

9.30am - 4.30pm

Module 1: Understanding the role of a leader in creating an environment and culture that promotes wellbeing

Module 2: Identifying and understanding need

Module 3: Developing and supporting staff

Module 4: Embedding mental health and wellbeing into an existing curriculum

Reflection session 

2 hours

An optional session for peer support, reflecting on the learning so far and reviewing progress on whole school planning. This session takes place between day 1 and day 2. 

Day 2


Module 5: Harder to reach?

Module 6: Targeted support

Module 7: Creating a targeted approach for referrals

Module 8: Engaging the systems around a child or young person

Post course  - What's working and what's next? 

1.5 hours

Taking place a term after the course, these optional online sessions give delegates a chance to share good practice with other SMHLs and discuss challenges.

Trainers lead these session to provide advice and guidance to delegates, supporting them to build a sustainable whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing. 

Course outcomes

By the end of day 1 you will be able to:

  • Articulate a plan for how you will put in place whole-school approach to positive mental health and wellbeing, which embodies respect and values diversity.
  • Set out how you will make use of the existing systems (e.g. behaviour/ safeguarding processes) to put in place a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing throughout the school environment.
  • Make use of school/college data and systems to support earlier identification of, and intervention for, pupils/students with mental health needs or an increased vulnerability to developing them.
  • Demonstrate how you will work with all staff in the school/college to raise mental health awareness and literacy, and support staff wellbeing, using existing school systems.
  • Illustrate how you will use any formal curriculum teaching opportunities and resources in your education setting to promote good mental health, and outline how you will use existing systems to do this.

By the end of day 2 you will be able to:

  • Implement a process to identify and support students who may require alternative approaches to meeting their mental health and wellbeing needs
  • Adopt and monitor the impact of a range of interventions provided to individuals or groups of students and adapt the approach as needed
  • Engage with the mental health provision in your local area in order to develop a good understanding of outcome measures used by mental health professionals and recognise any gaps that need filling in terms of mental health provision for your pupils/students in the school/college setting.
  • Set out an approach for how you will involve the wider community in the co-production, and embedding, of your whole-school approach, including identifying opportunities for peer-led wellbeing support.
  • Plan for how you will involve parents/carers/families and the outside community to ensure, where possible that they ‘buy into’ the culture of wellbeing the school/college is trying to create, and are able to continue the focus on this outside school hours.
Contact information

For further information on the training please contact:

"A very valuable resource that has empowered and motivated me to strive for better." SMHL delegate

"A great interactive day which was fast paced and informative. Can't wait for the next one!" SMHL delegate

  • 8 online modules over two training days and an optional 2 hour online reflective session

The Anna Freud Centre brings together those with a stake in the mental health of children and young people. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive a bi-monthly e-newsletter and occasional updates about the Centre's training and events. 

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